NORTH CANTON The North Canton YMCA recently opened the Ellsworth Smith Art Gallery in what used to be called meeting room one.
The YMCA had Smith’s paintings of buildings from around the city gifted to it by the artist’s family during the time the building opened in the 1970s. The paintings had been hung throughout the building over the years with some being held in storage until recently when two local curators took another look at them. Then, a Museum Studies program student from Walsh University, Raven Venegas, took an interest in opening a gallery featuring the artist.
“The students in the Museum Studies program have the option to choose from different projects and I selected this one because it matched my personal and professional goals,” said Venegas.
Venegas is planning to go onto law school and to get certified in museum law. She wants to specialize in patents and reproduction rights of intellectual properties.
“When I saw Smith’s paintings and the way he told the history of New Berlin and North Canton, I thought it was important to preserve and share his paintings in a gallery type setting,” she said.
Communications Manager and Marketing Director at the North Canton YMCA Kathy Yaros said that the curator of the Little Art Gallery and the Hoover Historical Society asked to see some of the paintings. The two curators suggested calling Walsh to see if a student would be interested in setting up a gallery to exhibit Smith’s paintings.
Yaros said she contacted Katherine Brown a professor in the Museum Studies program.
“I don’t assign specific projects to the students, I let them pick from a variety of different projects and Raven who was one of our best students this year selected the Smith gallery,” Brown said. “Raven wrote a grant for $750 from Arts in Stark to cover the cost of the new matts and for reframing with materials that will preserve the artworks. She also selected the…